Hannibal Rising (2007) Poster

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  • Following the death of his parents in World War II Lithuania, eight-year-old Hannibal Lecter (Aaran Thomas) and his baby sister Mischa (Helena-Lia Tachovská) are taken captive by six Lithuanian mercenaries—Vladis Grutas (Rhys Ifans), Enrikas Dortlich (Richard Brake), Bronys Grentz (Ivan Marevich), Petras Kolnas (Kevin McKidd), Zigmas Milko (Stephen Walters), and Kanys "Pot Watcher" Porvic (Goran Kostic)—and Mischa is subsequently killed in a manner of which Hannibal cannot recall. As he grows older, Hannibal (Gaspard Ulliel) moves to France to live with his only surviving relative—his widowed Japanese aunt, the Lady Murasaki (Li Gong)—who teaches him martial arts. He later moves to Paris when he is accepted into medical school. Although Hannibal is extremely intelligent and a natural in cadaver dissection, Lady Murasaki becomes concerned as she witnesses Hannibal descend into a psychotic killer when he begins to plot revenge on the soldiers responsible for his sister's death.

  • Hannibal Rising is the fourth film in the Hannibal Lecter series, preceded by The Silence of the Lambs (1991) (1991), Hannibal (2001) (2001), and Red Dragon (2002) (2002), all of which are based on novels by Thomas Harris and three of which star Anthony Hopkins as criminal genius Hannibal Lector. Hannibal Rising is based on Harris' 2006 novel bearing the same title. Harris himself adapted his novel for the screenplay.

  • "Brochettes" are the French version of barbecuing meat and vegetables on skewers, suggesting that Hannibal made kebab out of wild mushrooms and Dortlich's cheeks.

  • Those were ortolans, small songbirds in the bunting family Emberizidae, similar to finches and sparrows. Considered an extreme delicacy in French cuisine, they were often raised in captivity. They served the purpose in the film of letting Hannibal know, by the sound of their chirps, that Grutas is calling from Kolnas' restaurant.

  • Hannibal jumps on the barge where Grutas is holding Lady Murasaki, but Grutas shoots him in the back, believing that he has hit him in the spine. He even stabs Hannibal a few times in the leg to see if Hannibal reacts to the pain (he doesn't). As Grutas turns to Lady Murasaki to bite off her cheeks like Hannibal did to Dortlich, Hannibal grabs his broken sword and uses it to slice Grutas' Achilles tendens, causing him to collapse on the floor. Hannibal releases Lady Murasaki then uses the blade to force Grutas into telling him where Grentz is hiding. Grutas in turn torments Hannibal by admitting that he ate Mischa but that Hannibal ate her, too, in a broth, his "little lips greedy around the spoon." Enraged, Hannibal carves an "M" (for "Mischa") on Grutas' chest then drives the blade throgh Grutas' arm. Lady Murasaki pleads with Hannibal to end the killing, but he refuses, adding that he loves her. "What is left in you to love?" she replies and walks away. After Lady Murasaki phones Inspector Popil (Dominic West) to report the scene, he asks her where Hannibal is. Suddenly, the barge explodes in flames. Lady Murasaki screams, assuming that Hannibal is still on board. However, it is shown that Hannibal has escaped and is making his way through the woods on foot. In the final scene, Hannibal heads to Grentz's taxidermy shop in Canada. "I came to collect a head," he says, laying Grentz's portrait and dog tags in front of him.

  • Viewers who have seen all four films agree that watching them in the order of release does not detract from the story. However, if it is chronology that you seek, the films should be watched in the following order: (1) Hannibal Rising, which details Hannibal's childhood and early years, (2) Red Dragon, in which Dr Lecter aids FBI agent Will Graham in catching "the Tooth Fairy", a serial killer who is systematically killing entire families during full moons, (3) The Silence of the Lambs, in which Lecter helps Agent Clarice Starling catch serial killer "Buffalo Bill", who has kidnapped the daughter of a prominent Tennessee senator, and (4) Hannibal, in which Starling works once again with Lecter after he escapes from prison. There is also a fifth film, Manhunter (1986) (1986). Although it is not part of the four-movie Hannibal Lecter series, it is based on Harris' 1981 novel, Red Dragon.

  • The trip to the youth of cannibal Hannibal Lecter got, like many movies nowadays, an Unrated version. In this version a special focus was set to Hannibal's antagonists, also some alternative camera-angles and a new violence-scene have been added. Those, who already liked Hannibal Rising at the movie theaters, should be quite interested in the Unrated version.


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